Let’s take this week to go after a certain copy editing bugaboo that I have found extremely common in both fantasy and science fiction. It’s another of those seemingly impenetrable rules governing the proper use of an initial cap.
An initial cap is when the first letter of a word is capitalized, regardless of its place in a sentence. Rules for things like proper names of people and places are easy enough to remember, and I won’t go back into railing against initial caps intended to make a common noun seem more important, but in the case of honorifics, I see authors just all over the place in how they’re handled, quite often inconsistently applying caps within a single paragraph, much less a single novel.
An honorific is used in place of a name to infer respect or high station. We don’t use them a lot in contemporary American…
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